In Which We Succumb

September 7th, 2004 · No Comments
by Booksquare

We’re simply too lazy to fight the good fight. Plus we never know what to wear when going to battle against the trite and obvious. Black’s been done to death. Prints make us look short. And red is simply not our color. Yes, we’re blaming our retreat from headline bashing on sartorial indecision. It’s so much easier than admitting we can’t keep up. Soon the world will be overrun by headlines like the one below. We hope our small attempt at battle will earn us a place in history, though we lost the war.

Once you get past the headline, there’s a short profile of Douglas Pepper, the president and publisher of McClelland & Stewart. Pepper’s vision to make the century-old company younger and hipper. We’re almost afraid to speculate on what that could mean. While Publisher’s Lunch points out a factual error in the article (“…six years running Crown Publishing in New York”), our attention was riveted by accounting issues. What is wrong with us? Right — the nonsensical nature of the claim:

Douglas Gibson, Pepper’s predecessor as president and publisher, has blamed many of the firm’s financial problems on the “improper returns” of unsold inventory from Indigo Books & Music, in contravention of a limited returns policy set by the federal Competition Bureau when it approved Indigo’s takeover of the failing Chapters chain.

Uh, if they were improper, why were they accepted? We live in an era where refusing to accept deliveries is as easy as, well, just saying no. Yeah, it’s hard to be mean to someone’s face, but delivery dudes can handle it. We think there’s more to the story than returns coming over the transom. But that’s possibly because we haven’t pulled out the dictionary to analyze the true meaning of transom. We could be entirely off base here.

File Under: Publishers and Editors